We are Gentlemen from Japan

If you must know who we are
We are gentlemen from Japan

Last Friday, I had coffee with a student just back from two weeks in Japan; he was helping a colleague settle in for a Fulbright year there. Most days, I read Ty’s blog about his year in the JET program: he’s teaching in Japan. Out of the blue, last month, I got a postcard from my oldest friend who was on vacation in Japan.

What’s a homebound Anglophile to do? Well, that was me, tapping my feet to The Mikado on the train this morning. Very little can beat Gilbert and Sullivan. It’s not exactly Japan—it really is pretty far from Japan—but the Victorian version of what might be interesting about Japan is hilarious, rousing, lovely, and makes a nice counterpoint to the vagaries of the commute.

When I first got my iPod, I loaded it with the Fernham equivalent of smooth jazz: lots of Brazilian jazz and soulful world music, nothing too loud or strange. That was lovely. But now, the floodgates are open and I am just putting every single thing onto it. It makes shuffle a little unnerving (Willie Nelson came on the other day. How can that be? Well, he’s on the Johnny Cash retrospective…), but I must say that it’s lovely to have the Gilbert and Sullivan option.